Ial - Adding Tannins?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Fanatic, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Indian Almond Leaves - IAL

    Hey everyone! I need to ask a few questions about almond leaves for betta tanks.

    I have a 2.5g tank set up, and it has made home for two betta fish now. My past fish has passed away, and now I have a new one living in the tank. The tank ran constantly for 4 days after he died, before getting my new betta. It is both heated, and filtered.

    I want to add Indian Almond Leaves to the water, to create extra tannins. I have driftwood in there, but it takes so long to release enough to give the water a tea-like appearance like I’m after.

    I like the look of leaf litter, so I want to toss them in and let them sink down to the substrate. Although, I do have questions before I order some.

    1) How much do I need at a time? (2g Tank)

    2) How long do I leave them in?

    3) Can they be harmful for too long?

    4) I have heard that the acidity can damage the acrylic on my tank. Is this true?

    5) Do I crush them, or break them? Or just whole?

    Thanks for helping me out here! I really cannot wait to get started with some almond leaves in my tank!
  2. meyowmeowValued MemberMember

    In a small tank like that you probably won't need more than 1/2 leaf or less. You can leave the leaf in there indefinitely - with no shrimp to munch on it, it will take a LONG time to break down. When it does break down you can just pick the pieces out or vacuum them up with a water change. I have not heard of them being harmful to the fish or acrylic on a tank and I myself have never had either problem.
    I have seen some people break them up a little before putting them in but I prefer to throw a piece in and let it sink on its own- it can take a day or two. If you wanted to, you could weight it down with a rock etc.
    I wouldn't pay more than $10 for a 20 leaves and those will last you quite awhile.
    good luck!

    oh - and my betta LOVE to lay on the leaves and hide and play in them :) it's super fun to see them so happy
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2017
  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    •1) Usually a 6-10 inch leaf is what is "standard" and one if used for a 5g. So, for yours, probably use one half that size and monitor the amount of tannin being released, you don't want it to be black in there!
    •2) if not for breeding purposes (more on that later) there really is no reason to change them until every second month or so. Some change them when they notice their fish destroying them, this is mostly for aesthetic reasons. They disintegrate in their own in a month or two
    •3)it really isn't possible to put too much, but don't go throwing in a dozen of them. Stick to half a leaf or one small leaf.
    •4) acidity can damage acrylic, but your tank needs to be WAY more acidic than that can be produced in an aquarium. Unless your adding straight hydrochloric acid (don't do that! Hypothetical situation :p) to your tank, the acrylic should be fine.
    •5) crushing them increase surface area, increasing how fast the tannins are released. You can leave them whole if you like. It's all purely aesthetic really. Also, it can make it easier or harder to clean (if you choose to remove before decomposition); it's removing one leaf, or a bunch of little pieces.

    Ok! As a side note, if your Betta is a male, you may induce a breeding behavior into him and he may build a bubble nest underneath it. It's not a bad thing, but soemthing to let you know.

    Hope this helps and all the best!
  4. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Thanks!! I'm definitely getting some for my betta. He's such a funny little guy, and he's super cute!

    Here's a couple pics of him.
  5. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Hey guys, I order the almond leaves yesterday.

    I picked out a pack of 15 leaves, and my reasearch shows. If I were to add 1/4 of a leaf every 2 months (when it naturally decomposes) they will last me 10 years.

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